Friday, April 6, 2012

Sabbath, April 6, 1862

Mr. H. B. Scott and his friend Mr. Williams from Lane Seminary, came and spent last night here.  Mr. W. expects to be a foreign missionary.  He preached a very good sermon.  This evening William read to us a speech which he has prepared on the slavery question in its relations to the Constitution of the United States and to God.

Peggy's comments:
William did in fact deliver a speech in the House of Representatives on April 23, 1862.  It was part of the debate about a bill under consideration, "Confiscation of Rebel Property".  The title of his talk was:  SLAVERY--A PUBLIC ENEMY, AND OUGHT THEREFORE TO BE DESTROYED; A NUISANCE THAT MUST BE ABATED.

William begins his speech like this:
Mr. Chairman:  In the preamble of the bill under consideration I find the following weighty and startling words;  "Slavery has caused the present rebellion in the United States, and there can be no solid and permanent peace and union in this Republic so long as that institution exists."
Sir, I believe these words are true.  This conviction imposes upon me the duty not only of urging the President to use his power as provided in the bill, but opens the whole field of inquiry as to what policy is demanded to secure "solid and permanent peace and union."

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